Monday, September 12, 2011
Romance is hard
As all romance writers know, our genre is hugely popular. Sales exceed many of the more respected genres even during these tough economic times. Despite the health of the romance industry and its countless fans, our writing is often denigrated as so much fluff. Woman's stuff, you know. Not quite as good as what a guy would do in a legal thriller, horror story or the great American novel.
Anyone who's ever penned a romance can tell you it is one of the hardest - if the not the absolute hardest - genres to write. Why? Because we can't have car chases, gun fights, macho posturing, blood, gore and plot mechanics take the place of deep POV. We're required to get past the character's actions and dialogue into his or her head, heart and soul. Without it, a romance won't sell.
For those of you who are still skeptical, allow me to explain what I mean.
In a romance, the feelings of the hero and heroine must be conveyed effectively to the audience so they laugh, weep, cheer and smile right along with the characters. Think that's easy? Hah! Think again. In the past, I rewired an entire house, bringing it up to code, and found that less daunting than writing a deeply emotional scene.
Getting into a character's head is as difficult as getting into your own or your significant others' thoughts. No matter how emotional we think we are, we're all also guarded to some extent. We hold back. We don't want to admit what's really bothering us.
Characters are the same. Therefore, our writing has to convey this complexity. Not only is the hero angry, there's deep hurt and fear beneath it. And while the heroine is forgiving, there's also a thread of distrust and resentment because of what she's endured.
Through actions, words and their thoughts, we have to show what makes them tick. Believe me, it's easier to write about a bomb exploding and body parts flying than to have a hero face a woman who holds his future in her hands. The subtleties involved in that kind of writing come with an enormous amount of hard work. And pulling tears from a reader takes a lot of talent.
For those that dismiss romance, I can only guess that emotions frighten them. Otherwise, they'd sit back and enjoy one of the most satisfying genres known.
***** Great news!!! I've just contracted another title - SiNN - with Ellora's Cave. It's my first romantic suspense and also my first menage. It's slated for their Breathless line. As soon as I have the cover art, I'll share it along with a blurb and excerpt.
Also, my erotic paranormal Unending Desire is coming out from Samhain October 18. Next month, I'll share the cover, blurb and excerpt. :)